Civilian casualties in Helmand rises 12% this year
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) regional office in southern Helmand province said on Sunday civilian casualties have risen 12 percent as compared to 2014 in the province.
Mohammad Belal Sediqi, AIHRC head in Helmand, told journalists violence and insecurity had surged in the province this year, affecting mostly civilians.
He recalled last year 212 civilians had died and 586 others had been wounded, but this year in the first six months alone 128 civilians had lost their lives and 234 more wounded. This, he said, showed a 12 percent rise in the number of casualties.
Sediqi said majority of the civilians suffered casualties due to land mines, suicide attacks, and firefights respectively.
He blasted both the Taliban insurgents and security forces for not respecting the principles of war, which resulted in fatalities among civilians.
He urged the warring factions to take into consideration the agreed laws and principles of war and avoid operations in civilian populated areas.
Security officials in Helamand, however, say they have clear guidance when it come to engaging the enemy and preventing civilian casualties but it was the Taliban who inflicted most damage on civilians.
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